If you walk into a kitchen and see a mortar and pestle on the counter, then you know you’re going to get a good meal.
At last that’s what the expert chef I heard on NPR said.
And I happen to think she’s right.
You don’t have to know that much about cooking to use a mortar and pestle. So if you’re an aspiring cook, do yourself a favor and get one. (They’re pretty reasonable at World Market and TJ Maxx.) The minute you mash up garlic, nuts herbs, olive oil and salt in the mortar, you’ll feel like a real cook.
You’ll look like one too.
And as a bonus, you’ll release any harbored anger right into that pestle.
Sure, a food processor will get nearly the same job done, but it’s harder to clean, won’t taste as hearty and for sure won’t look as cool.
Once you’ve got your mashed up goodness, you’ve got the start to just about any meal. Spread it on bread and serve it with soup or rice. Or just mix it right into your rice or into a scrambled egg. Layer it with hummus and cheese on bread, with fresh tomato and cucumber, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous lunch.
1 clove garlic
1 thai pepper (with seeds removed)
1T olive oil
juice from a small lime or lemon
handful of any fresh herbs you have–cilantro, basil, parsley
dash of salt
Process all ingredients with a mortar and pestle.